Justice Center ideal site for new approach

In a few months, Seneca County Justice Center will open. The $14 million-plus facility will house the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court and clerk of courts as well as the county’s common pleas courts, clerk of the courts and probation department.

It will be only one of its kind in Ohio, and may give rise to another first: A drug court presided over by the municipal court and common pleas judges on a rotating basis.

Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff said the court will be a tool to help people with recovery.

“Prison does not solve the problem for people who are addicts,” Shuff said.

Tiffin Law Director Brent Howard stated the court would provide a path to recovery for addicted individuals.

This is not just an idea whose time has come. It’s a strategy worth trying to overcome a vexing problem. Drugs, especially opiates, are a festering issue in Ohio, and a particularly acute one in Seneca County. Arrests, convictions and sentencing all too often are followed by relapse upon release, repeating the cycle.

The unique building on Courthouse Square in downtown Tiffin avails itself of this unique approach. The more the drug court succeeds, the more money — and, more importantly, lives — will be saved.